Sadly, not having your legs fall asleep or the seatback in front of you hit you in the face on a plane is an expensive request these days. But a few airlines try to get you close. Conde Nast recently did a comprehensive study of the amount of legroom available on both US and international flights, finding that, in fact, it's not gone to hell on every airline.
While the standard legroom measures 30 inches in coach, according to Conde Nast, a few carriers provide a bit more legroom. The survey only looked into the legroom on major, recognizable airlines, but found as far as US carriers go, JetBlue gives 34 inches of space, while Virgin and Southwest each offer 32 inches. Delta, American, Alaskan, and Hawaiian all give out 31 inches, while the two major budget airlines, Spirit and Frontier, are squeezing people in at 28 inches. Cue the Smashing Pumpkins.
Of course, legroom matters all that much more on international flights. And the winner in this arena: Aeromexico, at 34 inches. South African Airways gives 33.5 inches of space, earning it the title of "second-most tolerable," while Asiana, Air India, and Air Tahiti Nui also come in above average, offering 33 inches.
A few international airlines are notoriously cramped, including Air Berlin, Austrian Airlines, and Aeroflot, who give the minimum 30 inches. Maybe avoid these guys if you don't want your knees continually knocking against the seat in front of you. If you like that sort of thing, though, book away!
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Kara King is a News Writer for Thrillist and has been cramped for most of her life. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her tweets from small spaces at @karatillie.